**Note: the following suggestions come from the writer’s personal experience as a resident of Mobile, Alabama for the past ten years. The writer is not receiving any payments or compensation from any business mentioned herein. – It’s that time of year again! Spring Break is here and college students across the nation are gearing up for a week-long stretch of beaches, parties and relaxation away from the stress of classes and tests. If you’re a college student living in Mobile, Alabama, check out these popular Gulf Coast Spring Break hot spots for your week of fun in the sun!
1. Gulf Shores & Orange Beach
If there is one location near Mobile that is sure to draw a frenzy of college and high school Spring Breakers every year, it is Gulf Shores, Alabama. Rated by countless local magazines, newspapers and TV programs as one of Alabama’s most beautiful beaches, Gulf Shores offers sand, sun and tons of activities for your entire group. From shoreline volleyball competitions and local tennis courts to Frisbee and sunbathing, there’s something for everyone at Gulf Shores.
In addition to plenty of beach time, Gulf Shores visitors can enjoy a wide variety of local seafood restaurants, including the famous and award-winning Original Oyster House. This 26-year-old Gulf Coast tradition serves an endless variety of specialty seafood platters and even has a salad bar.
Not a seafood fan? No worries. Gulf Shores is also home to dozens of Mexican restaurants (including El Toro Mexican Bar & Grill), steakhouses (including Jake’s Steakhouse and Grill at Orange Beach and a Longhorn Steakhouse), as well as countless fast food stops and drive-thrus. Visit www.gulfshores.com for more information on dining locations, hotels and condos, nightlife and seasonal attractions.
2. Bowling at Camellia Lanes
125 North Schillinger Rd.
Mobile, AL 36608
What teen or college student doesn’t enjoy a night at the local bowling lanes with good friends, large amounts of junk food and plenty of loud music? If this sounds like your kind of Spring Break nightlife event, look no further than Camellia Bowling Lanes in Mobile. Located at 125 North Schillinger Road, Camellia is a division of the national AMF (American Machine & Foundry) Bowling Centers Inc. (www.amf.com). Visit their official web site for more information on reserving lanes for large parties, business hours, special accommodations and party favors for birthday parties and information about their special Xtreme Bowling weekend nights. This is one Spring Break activity that is sure to please everyone!
3. Mobile Civic Center and Mitchell Center
401 Civic Center Drive
Mobile, AL 36602-0204
If concerts and other local attractions are your thing, be sure to check out what events are going on at the Mobile Civic Center (www.mobilecivicctr.com) and the Mitchell Center (www.southalabama.edu/mitchellcenter). Located in Downtown Mobile, the Civic Center boasts over 400,000 sq. ft. of space and auditoriums that have featured rock concerts, grand opera and theatre performances, ballet and Broadway musicals, all the way to Southern division basketball games. Upcoming shows and events at the Civic Center include Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance” (March 13), Comedian Jeff Dunham’s 2010 Tour entitled “Identity Crisis” (March 25), Tyler Perry’s “Madea’s Big, Happy Family” (March 28) and Disney’s “Live, Rockin’ Road Show” (April 9).
4. Springdale/Bel-Air Shopping Mall
3299 Bel Air Mall
Mobile, AL 36606
While this spot may not be a high priority location for many guys, it is certain to be swarming with girls during Spring Break week. Shopping for swim suits, flip flops, sunglasses, makeup and that perfect evening outfit is a breeze at the Bel-Air Mall, where name brand retailers include American Eagle Outfitters, Abercrombie, Aeropostale, Hollister Clothing Co., Buckle and dozens more. Noteworthy department stores include Belk, Sears, JC-Penny and Dillard’s.
Need a new pair of shoes for a hot Spring Break date? No problem. Payless ShoeSource and the Shoe Department are right at your fingertips, as well as a Lady’s Footlocker, Journey’s and Foot Action USA for all of your athletic shoe needs.
Worried about having to break for lunch or dinner? Not a problem. The Bel Air Mall is also home to several fast food and dine-in restaurants, including Chik-Fil-A, Piccadilly Cafeteria, McDonald’s, Bella Vita Pizza, Sante Fe Grill, Starbuck’s and China Gourmet Express.
So if you find yourself in Mobile, Alabama in the next week or two for Spring Break, do not complain about boredom! Check out some of these great local spots, relax on the beach, eat some local seafood and enjoy your break from classes!